Building to Create a Healthier Neighborhood

<b>Building to Create a Healthier Neighborhood</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), about 5.4 million Americans currently live in worst-case housing. Households with worst-case needs are defined as unassisted, very-low-income renters -; income no higher than 50 percent of area median income -; who pay more than half of their income for housing or live in severely substandard housing.

As prices rise, many low-income families cannot afford household repairs or heating bills. Housing costs can prevent families from buying adequate food, seeing doctors or saving money for future expenses.

Affordable housing doesn’t just make families more comfortable. Construction projects help create jobs and economic growth. Home ownership creates stable, proud citizens with a vested interest in maintaining healthy neighborhoods.

Communities need to take action to provide affordable, decent housing for low-income families. The government sponsors some programs that allow neighborhoods to reclaim vacant or run-down properties, then use the land to build healthy, single-family homes. Citizens can work with non-profit organizations that provide affordable housing through volunteer labor.

But if communities build wood houses for low-income families, they might be creating new problems. Wood, along with other traditional building materials, proves susceptible to humidity, insect infestations, mold growth and natural disasters.

If communities truly want to improve living conditions, they need to seek more lasting materials. Concrete masonry buildings, for example, don’t just stand the test of time, they also help reduce energy bills and indoor pollution levels.

Concrete masonry naturally regulates hot and cold air, so families spend less on insulation, heating and cooling costs. Builders do not need to paint concrete walls, which helps reduce initial construction costs and prevent airborne pollutants. Concrete masonry walls withstand hurricane-force winds and do not succumb to mold or termites, making them a long-term solution to community building needs.

For more information about concrete masonry, visit

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